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Company Culture vs Team Culture

When it comes to the development of company culture, encouraging team leaders to build subcultures from within is the future.


Culture - The set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterises an institution or organisation.

Team Culture - The way a set of people behave and think that stems from the attitudes and belief systems that they all share. A collection of people (community) working together to achieve a common goal and objective.

Company Culture vs Team Culture

What is the difference and why does it matter? Events of recent years have brought culture into sharp focus and rightly so: 66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to performance than their organisational strategy or operating model (PwC Global Culture Survey 2021).

So how do you go about nurturing a culture that brings out the best in your people and drives truly high performing teams? In this article we explore the key differences between company and team culture and explore the evolving role of Team Leaders in creating a team culture your employees are proud to be part of.

What Culture isn't

Before we start, it is worth saying that when we talk about culture, we are not talking about office perks like table tennis and free beer. We are talking about something much deeper, the DNA of your organisation, a living, breathing thing that needs to be carefully nurtured over time to meet the evolving needs of your multi-generational workforce.

Culture is curated, not created. It occurs naturally, whether you like it or not and requires commitment from both employees and leaders to ensure it develops in the right direction.

Put simply, your culture will be the reason employees want to join your company and hopefully, the reason they never want to leave!

Why Managers and Team Leaders Decide your Culture.

Culture can be observed at both a company-wide level and also at a team level.

Traditionally 'culture creation' has been driven by company executives who set a collective mission, vision and purpose, and shout it from the rooftops in the hope that it reaches employees on the ground. Whilst direction from the top is critical, we believe this approach to culture development is outdated and not fit for purpose in the modern workplace.

Let us explain why… To suggest that each and every team in your organisation should operate in the same way based on a common direction set from the top is naive and quite frankly bad business.

Think about all the different teams that exist within your organisation. Now consider the goals, workings and personalities that exist within that team. Each team within your business is entirely unique with its own idea of what success looks like. Sure those goals are linked and heavily influenced by the goals of the wider organisation, but each team has a subculture or sub-DNA that will heavily influence how well the team works together, the employee experience within the team, and outcomes including employee engagement, productivity and performance.

As entrepreneur Steven Bartlett stated, 'companies don't have one culture, companies have 30 different cultures, created by 30 different managers within their teams.' The sum of these subcultures is what combines to form your organisational or company culture.

Building Strong Team Culture

So when it comes to the development of company culture, we advocate for a Team-Centric approach. Encouraging team leaders to build subcultures based on their team's individual needs and daily realities is a great way to strengthen your global company culture from the bottom up.

As with anything worth investing in, creating a strong team culture takes time and intention. If you are looking for team culture to be a quick fix for your employee retention issue, I am afraid you have come to the wrong place. In fact, you will never 'complete' your Team's Culture. Team Culture is a work-in-progress that needs to be continually iterated over time.

Human-Centric Team Culture

Traditionally, company culture is something that was agreed by company leadership and shared with employees from the top down on an employee's first day at the company.

The evolving Role of Team Leaders

Currently your Team Leaders spend their time sharing feedback, recognising achievement and conducting one to ones. However, leadership for the future of work requires a much more skilful approach. Leaders will need to show skills such as empathy, curiosity and emotional intelligence so that they can lead in an authentic and ultimately more human way.

How are you going to equip your managers and Team Leaders with the tools, skills and competencies to effectively lead their teams for the future of work? Let us give you a nudge in the right direction…

From Theory to Action

The biggest challenge companies and leaders face when it comes to curating and nurturing strong team culture is not the theory or the why. It is putting it into action - the how.

The Culture Academy by Kaido exists to show your Team Leaders how to build more human-centric team cultures through action focussed, cohort based learning. The Culture Academy teaches the practical skills needed to build human-centric team culture from within through a combination of live workshops, self-directed action weeks, guided reflection and community support.

It explicitly focuses on helping your Team Leaders nurture their individual team cultures, helping them to move the needle, and in turn, help you make team culture your competitive advantage.

Interested? Get started with this...

Foundation Programme

The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture

The Culture Academy's Foundation Programme, The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture, is a 12-week, cohort based, interactive learning experience.

Your Team Leaders will join a community of like-minded professionals to explore, experiment and grow together into Human-Centric Culture Champions.

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CPD accredited

Dig deeper into the research.

Learn why building a human-centric team culture from within is crucial for your organisation

Why Human-Centric Team Culture?

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What is Human-Centric Team Culture

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The Evolution of Why We Work

Your future workforce is living in a Social Revolution. They are motivated by quality of life and looking for a more human work experience.

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The Business Case for Human-Centric Team Culture

Investing in your culture makes good business sense. It is much more than just a competitive advantage in the war for talent.

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How to build a Human-Centric Team Culture

Creating a Human-Centric Team Culture requires intention and with the right guidance from leadership anything is possible.

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66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to performance than the organisation's strategy or operating model.
PwC, Global Culture Survey 2021
“A sense of employee connection is the #1 challenge cited by C-suite survey respondents, with fully 95% acknowledging that their company culture and sense of connection need improvement.”
Deliotte, State of the Global Workplace 2022
“70% of the variance between average, good and great team cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills and talent of the team leader”
Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2022

Teams of every shape, size and sector are using Kaido to boost their Team Culture.

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